Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Marcus Sherels re-signs with Vikings; Carlson joins Cards

Posted by: Master Tesfatsion under Vikings defense Updated: March 7, 2014 - 3:26 PM

Marcus Sherels, a backup cornerback who was second in the NFL in punt returning last season, has re-signed with the Vikings. Terms were not announced for the two-year contract.

The former Gophers standout, who signed as an undrafted free agent in 2010, played in 49 games for the Vikings over four seasons, starting seven at cornerback.

"It means a lot to me," Sherels said. "This is a place I wanted to be. This is a team that gave me a shot in the first place. I feel a sense of loyalty here, and I love being here. And love playing for coach Prief and all my teammates. I think we can build something special here."

His punt return average of 15.2 yards was second in the league last season behind Tandon Doss of Baltimore and set a team record. He had an 86-yard punt return against the Giants last season, the second punt return TD of his career. He also had his first career interception, against the Ravens on Dec. 8.

It was a big day for the Sherels brothers of Rochester as Mike Sherels was promoted to Gophers linebackers coach.

Carlson to Arizona

Tight end John Carlson, who was released by the Vikings on Wednesday, signed a two-year deal with the Arizona Cardinals, the team said.

Carlson was a high school standout in Litchfield before playing college football at Notre Dame. He was signed to a five-year, $25 million contract ($9 million guaranteed) by the Vikings in 2012. Ian Rapoport of nfl.com reported Carlson's deal with Arizona was worth $4.65 million.

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